A Change.org petition titled "Protect Immigrants and Undocumented Students at the University of Maryland" has garnered more than 600 signatures since it became public Thursday morning.
The petition was sponsored by the group #UmdDreamers and inspired by recent comments from President-elect Donald Trump, where he "vowed to deport up to 3 million undocumented immigrants from the United States," the petition read.
The petition goes on to say, "The University of Maryland has an obligation to provide a supportive educational environment to the students it admits." It later reads, "That obligation is even more important when students face serious policy-related threats and widespread social hostility. The election of Donald Trump has generated a campus climate of fear and vulnerability."
Yvette Lerma Jones, the coordinator for Latina/o/x Undocumented Student Involvement and Advocacy, said she signed the petition as form of support for undocumented students on campus. Although she is not a part of the group that created the petition, she said the petition and the Multicultural Involvement and Community Advocacy office have similar ideas on how to ensure these students stay safe on campus.
"[MICA] and students have been asking for there to be a full-time coordinator to support and advise undocumented students; [it] has been a part of the larger conversation on how we serve them for over a year now," said Lerma Jones. "It's not like we haven't been given the answer or the belief that it could happen, it's always been a matter of being a long path that you have to wait in order for this to be a possibility."
The petition asked university President Wallace Loh and Provost Mary Ann Rankin to "support immigrant members of our community and undocumented students" through various actions.
Among their requests was to ensure that students with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status prior to Jan. 20 would be able to receive in-state tuition if DACA is eliminated, according to the petition.
Another request was for university administration to "issue a strong, public statement reinforcing the university's support for immigrant rights and the protection of immigrant students, including those who are undocumented."